Topic : Reaching cleats for spinnaker

I recently got into merlin sailing and bought a lovely old merlin (3100).  She came fully set up but we're having a little difficulty mastering the spinnaker system.  There don't seem to be reaching cleats - is this normal?  The sheets meet the thwart just behind the shrouds, where they go below and cleat above the console.
I'm also puzzled by the spinnypole setting system. There's a nice downhaul adjustment system but the uphaul is fixed on a length of string. This obviates the downhaul adjustment...? Should the uphaul be on a bungee?

Posted: 19/05/2006 09:09:58
By: Mark_Notts
Read the comments in this gallery to see a typical system on an older boat.

Posted: 19/05/2006 09:54:28
By: Mags
The uphaul is often fixed, with no elastic used. The downhaul pulls the guy ring to the outboard end of the pole and locks it in.

It sounds strange that your spinnaker sheets are led to the central console. There is normally a cleat for the guy on the thwart (or above it) at the outboard edge.

Posted: 19/05/2006 09:56:34
By: Mags

The usual system is one where the sheet/guy comes back from the sail, through a thru-deck sheave in the side deck and forward to a block on the end of the thwart. On my boat I have 2 cleats, one for the crew to cleat the guy into and one for me to cleat the guy into when we're reaching in a blow and I need to pull the guy back hard.

There should be a photo soon.

Posted: 19/05/2006 10:25:21
By: Jon
Usual forum comment on this - the ideal is to visit a local club with a Merlin fleet for hands-on advice, contact the class rep.  If you can't do this then pictures are worth many, many words.  Where are you?

Usual practice on spinny sheets is from kite, through bushed hole in side-deck near or just aft of thwart, led to cleat on top of side of thwart. Sheets should be continuous, i.e. one piece of string led from one corner of spinny, through the boat and out to other corner of spinny.

You may have a system for either two or one spinny pole. With twin-pole systems the uphaul is often not adjustable on the water and the downhaul is a tensioner called variously a tweaker or snodger, this being another North/South divide. Obviously there are 2 bits of string for each as there are 2 poles. A single pole is centre-slung, the uphaul is more often adjustable as is the downhaul, with both usually cleating off at the mast gate in boats of your era. Just because the boat came from someone else with a lot of string attached to it you cannot in any way assume that it has been led correctly!!

Have fun, spending a full day bimbling with your fittings is a peculiarity of the class, welcome.

Posted: 19/05/2006 10:33:16
By: Andrew M
Re reaching cleats/hooks, a lot of boats sailed mainly inland won't have any at all, there are several systems from the complex (full twinning lines with micro-blocks) to the simplest, small lined deck bushes bolted to the gunwhales near the shroud.  They will not be essential when you start to sail the boat, have a look at the systems available and copy the one you like, no-one has ever been sued for copying a dinghy system

Posted: 19/05/2006 10:39:11
By: Andrew M
photo of cleats but I guess I'm off the mark here and Andrew has grasped what you mean.

Use reaching buttons (little thru-deck bushes) bolted to your gunwhale by the shroud.

Posted: 19/05/2006 11:32:29
By: Jon
Thanks a lot to you all.  I feel quite reassured that the current setup is supposed to be like it is. I should have mentioned it's a twin pole system.
Tweaker or snodger, which is northern (i.e. correct)?

Posted: 19/05/2006 18:56:32
By: Mark_Notts
'pends whether your right side 't pennines lad

Posted: 19/05/2006 19:57:24
By: Jon


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